To what extent was it the weakness of religious opponents that accounts for the failure of religious opposition in the years 1547-1558?
The weakness of religious opposition, particularly during Mary’s reign with Wyatts rebellion in 1554, was a lack of leadership and clear aims for the rebellion. Although the failure of this rebellion was mostly down to a lack of organisation and timing, it was also due to the fact that it started early in Mary’s reign when she was still popular, her people had rallied to her cause as the legitimate heir less than 12 months ago and many of them had no intention of abandoning her yet.
There was also a lack of Protestant support at the start of Mary’s reign when around 800 leading Protestants fled abroad, this made the chance of rebellion even less likely as there was a distinctly lowering number of Protestants in England. There was also a lack of opposition due to Mary’s heresy laws, 280 people were burned in 46 months, these executions during Mary’s reign exceeded the numbered recorded in any Catholic country during the period.
During Mary’s reign there was little religious opposition, this was many due to many of the leading religious opponents, like Ridley,…